July 4, 2023

The Tub

The other day, I was faced with the daunting task of removing the tub from our upstairs bathroom.

Removing a tub wouldn’t normally be that big of a deal, but ours was a cast iron model from the 1960s that weighed about 500 lbs.

There was no way I was going to be able to lift this beast by myself, never mind wrestle it down the stairs in one piece.

So I consulted YouTube, and the cast iron tub removal experts all agreed:

Smash the tub into pieces using a sledgehammer and cart them down the stairs individually.

The shocking thing about all of these videos was 👏 how 👏 freaking 👏 hard they had to hit the tub to break it.

I mean, like, REEEEEEALLY hard.

We’re talking about a full-body, swinging-for-the-fences style effort.

With a sledgehammer.

At a quarter ton of iron.

In a bathroom.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well... a lot of things.

For example:

But most importantly, there were at least a dozen ways I could end up in the emergency room.

(My favorite was breathing in the glass-like porcelain shards that rain down after each hit. Yikes!)

So what’s an enterprising DIYer to do?

Take precautions!

Okay, so... why am I telling you about my tub?

Here’s the thing...

Any undertaking has some level of risk.

And a risk calculation consists of two factors:

  1. The likelihood of a loss
  2. The impact of a loss

Some undertakings are low/low, like deciding to wear a flowery shirt on your next Zoom call.

Some undertakings are high/low, like betting five bucks on the outcome of a limbo contest.

Some undertakings are low/high, like flying to Hawaii on a 747.

And some undertakings are high/high, like hang gliding over an active volcano.

It’s that last category that you really want to watch out for.

If the likelihood of a loss is high AND the impact of a loss is high, then it makes sense to invest resources in advance to mitigate the risk.

This is why some clients are more than happy to pay a premium for things like strategy sessions, advisory retainers, guarantees, insurance, and so on.

So ask yourself:

  1. What risks do my ideal buyers perceive as high-likelihood AND high-impact?
  2. What can I do to help mitigate the risk for them?